About the garden
Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust
10 acres of rescued 17/18th century, pre-Capability Brown gardens (Grade II*) – a taste of a baroque country estate in a 21st century city. A compact walled garden historically part of the Bridgeman/Bradford estates, which is now owned and run by a volunteer-led charity.
There are formal walks, parterres, espaliered fruit, a holly maze and vegetable garden as well as family-friendly wild areas. Although not a botanical garden, the Trust tries to maintain a period-relevant style and species keeping to the period 1680-1760. Among the 600 different trees, plants and shrubs are two apple and pear orchards growing some quite ancient heritage species, which would definitely be familiar to an 18th century gardener (apple juice from our orchards is generally on sale in the garden shop).
Snowdrops, daffodils and tulips suit the formal gardens well in spring and the 2.4 kilometres of box, yew, hornbeam and holly hedges dominate the summer landscape.
Apple day, seasonal events and other public activities happen throughout the year. Volunteer led garden tours are free with entrance on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the main summer season. A small cafe and shop is open most days (check before setting out). The Gardens are adjacent to the ancestral Jacobean Hall, which is now privately run as a Hotel. The bar and restaurant are open to visitors, guided tours available during Heritage Open Days and so on.
There has been a garden here for more than 400 years and this is now an example of a rare survival of pre-Capability Brown garden design. During the 17th–18th century, the Bridgeman family developed and extended the gardens to the designs of George London and William Winde; the prestigious garden and country house designers of the time. Although not a botanic institution, the historic species planting positively contributes to maintaining historic data and biodiversity.
The fashion-seeking Sir Henry Bridgeman (1725-1800) can be thanked for the complete nature of the current Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Sir Henry commissioned Lancelot Brown to reconfigure the garden of his ‘other house’ at Weston Park from 1766. When Sir Henry inherited the title and moved to Weston Park, Castle Bromwich was left in the ‘old style’.
Later planting left the main structures intact, to be discovered, and still cared for, by volunteers of the Trust. Projects in 2017 included renewing the old Gardener’s viewing gazebo, further work on the Lower Wilderness and renewing trees in the Orchard. Although set only yards from junction five of the M6, the garden is a quiet green haven from the hectic and industrialised surroundings.